King Of The Outlaws Steve Kinser Returns To Jackson Speedway May 1
JACKSON, MINN – For the undisputed King of the Outlaws, Steve Kinser, the May 1 stop of the World of Outlaws series at Jackson Speedway is one stop on the 2010 campaign he’s really looking forward to. As the only two-time winner of World of Outlaw stops at the historic half-mile on the Jackson County Fairgrounds, Kinser would naturally like to become a three-time winner on May 1.
But there’s another reason why Jackson Speedway is a favorite of Kinser – it’s the track where he pulled off a last-lap pass in 2004 to beat his son Kraig to the checkers for his second Outlaws win at the track.
“Boy, I think there’s only been about three times that Kraig and I have run one-two over the years,” Steve noted. “That night back in 2004, I think that’s the only time I’ve finished ahead of him so far. He’s got me two other times, where I’ve finished second to him – so far.”
That brings up a question – Does he race Kraig any less harder than he would any other driver – not only because he’s Kraig’s car owner this year, but also because of the father-son bond?
“You know, we both run hard, no matter what,” Steve replied after a moment of thought. “Sure, I’m Kraig’s car owner, and I sure don’t want to see his car tore up, and I really don’t want Tony’s (Stewart) car tore up either, because my job and Kraig’s job is to win races and compete for a championship. I try to race everyone fair and clean, but in the end, its my job to compete for that championship for Bass Pro Shops and Tony Stewart Racing, and its Kraig’s job to compete for the championship for Steve Kinser Racing.”
For Kinser, the 2010 season finds him in the role of driver for Tony Stewart Racing, basically switching jobs with his son Kraig, who ran Stewart’s #20 last season. Now, it’s Steve in the #11 Bass Pro Shops car for TSR, and Kraig in the 11K for Steve Kinser Motorsports.
“I owned my own team since 1994, and had a lot of success over time, with Karl and everyone, and I know I never thought I’d drive for another team, but with times being what they are, things changed to where we are now,” Steve explained. “I couldn’t ask for a better team owner than Tony, he really loves the sprint cars, and actually, this weekend, he’s up at the track (Eldora) doing a little testing with his 360 deal. I had some things to do here at home this week, otherwise I’d have probably been up there and he would have jumped into my car for a few laps. I would have loved to done that, but there were some things to do at home this week.”
What could be more pressing than a few hot laps with Tony Stewart?
“Well, I mowed lawn Tuesday and was spraying dandelions this morning,” Steve laughed.
In his career, Kinser has raced at dirt tracks all over the country, in Australia, and even on the superspeedways. But yet, it is that mastery of the dirt tracks that has added to the mystique of the King. So what is the secret? Does the dirt “talk” to Kinser? There’s a chuckle at the other end of the line.
“Well, I don’t think it actually talked,” Steve laughed. “I’ve just been very lucky to be able to read a track and read the dirt over my career, but like anyone who’s getting a little older, I ‘spose my eyesight is getting a little tired, like everybody’s does.”
So is the racing still as appealing as it was when he first strapped into a car?
“For such a long time, when I was a kid, I wanted to race because of my family, but it was expensive then and it still is today,” Kinser said. “I was almost 20 before I got the chance to race on my own for the first time, and it was a fantastic experience then. It’s probably not as much fun today as when I started, and I might not get as much out of a car as I used to, but I’m still feeling very competitive and we plan to be in the hunt for the championship this season.”
As the hours tick down to the May 1 World of Outlaws show at Jackson, Kinser admits he is looking forward to the stop at Jackson, because of the track itself.
“I really enjoy racing on the half-mile tracks the best, because the speed is there,” Kinser said. “Jackson is a big, racy kind of track you can go fast on and do some passing on and that’s my favorite kind of track. I know that sometimes, a big track isn’t as much fun for the spectators to watch the race on, but for drivers, its all about the speed and being able to pass. You can do that at Jackson and really mix it up with the other drivers.”
There’s also a little sentimental attachment to half-mile tracks for Kinser.
“I just think we’re losing too many of these great old half-mile tracks, especially in the Midwest, in Minnesota and Iowa,” Kinser said. “People build tracks and they build three-eighths and quarters for their regular weekly shows, and you can understand that. But, when you want to really get the speed and the challenge for the driver, you have to have that big half-mile, and that’s what I like about Jackson.”
As a bit of history, the World of Outlaws has appeared six times at Jackson Speedway. Bobby Davis, Jr. won the inaugural race on July 9, 1987. Sammy Swindell won on July 6, 1988, and Steve Kinser won in a return race on August 20 1988, before picking up his second win on Sept. 24 of 2004. Daryn Pittman took the checkers on Sept. 23, 2005 and Donny Schatz won the last Outlaw show on Sept. 15, 2006.
So will the King be the man in Victory Circle on May 1? You’ll have to be there to find out for sure, but one thing’s for certain – Steve Kinser is ready to race at Jackson. “Jackson is a fun race track to race on. You can really run it hard, do more passing and the fans will be yelling all the way. I’m really looking forward to coming back May 1.”
For more details o the May 1 World of Outlaws visit to Jackson Speedway, go to www.jacksonspeedway.com